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Redeployed and redundant?

By Alan J. McDonald


What happened?

WG was a Senior Manager of Property Finance at Bendigo and Adelaide Bank, managing a portfolio of commercial property loans. In addition, he also had budgeting and personnel management responsibilities for the business unit. In 2009, as part of a company restructure, his business unit was absorbed into another. His new role was that of Senior Manager, Business Banking. This new position was significantly different to his prior position:

– This was a business banking role, an area in which William was not experienced, nor did he have the relevant qualifications.

– It was less senior, as he had 50% fewer staff reports and his direct superior was in a much less senior role than prior to restructure.

WG therefore argued that the restructure had made his prior position redundant.

What did the Court think?

The Court allowed WG’s appeal, ruling he established both alternate grounds of the banks redundancy policy (although he was only required to establish one):

– A major portion of his pre restructure work was no longer required after the restructure; and

– A major portion of his pre restructure position was no longer required after the restructure.
They awarded him a redundancy payment of $187,566.99 plus interest.

What does this mean for you?

– You may have an entitlement to a redundancy payment, even if you have been redeployed to another role within the company following an internal restructure.

– It is important to identify exactly what the features of your position were prior to the restructure, and highlight how they have changed since the restructure. If the work and position are substantially no longer required under the restructure, then the position will have been made redundant, and you will be entitled to a redundancy.